FINANCE: Plymouth Hospitals Trust incurred £900,000 of contract penalties during August, largely due to continued failure to meet the 18 week waiting time target.

However, a report to September’s board said the penalties were currently being returned to the trust to fund “corrective action”.

The report said: “If the trust were operating under full [payment by results arrangements], the contract position would be £3.5m behind plan as a result of under-performance against contract in elective and outpatient activity, excluded service activity, pass through items and contract penalties.”

The trust is forecasting a deficit of £13m by the end of the year and has agreed support with the NHS Trust Development Authority.